Teach English in BanshAn Zhen - Zhuzhou Shi

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Show passion for teaching, and the students will show a passion for learning. (Christina Cabal, British council, 2017). The role of the teacher now more than ever extends far beyond entering a classroom, presenting a topic and implementing a lesson plan. The teacher needs to encourage and stimulate learning, engage active participation, provide opportunities for growth and satisfaction, provoke and inspire. However, the biggest challenge a teacher may face is motivation of their students. To rise up to the challenge the teacher needs skills and knowledge to effectively communicate with students. It is absolutely necessary for the teacher to be knowledgeable of their subject, but this simply is not enough. To be valuable and respected in this fast and dynamic changing world, the teacher needs to find creative ways to motivate their students and to keep them motivated. It all begins with the motivated teacher. The motivated and inspired teacher is the one that can motivate their students. This is a difficult task indeed, but rewarding for sure. The motivated student is an excited student; they are eager to learn and participate, they strive for achievement and endeavour for success. Teaching motivated students creates enjoyable environment where benefits for both students and teacher are countless. The teacher should be able to direct the students in search for knowledge and accomplishment. This is in fact a direction for a successful realization of young people (and not only). On the other hand the students who are not motivated will not benefit from classes; they may decide not to visit lessons or choose not to participate actively; they will fail to learn effectively and they may even lose interest in the subject. There are many ideas that can be implemented in building the rapport with the students and boosting their motivation. I will focus on some of the most important ones in my view for a teacher that strives for success: Attract the attention of the students and engage them in the classroom: Introduce topics that are both familiar and are of interest to the students so to involve them in discussions. Provoke their curiosity and natural appetite for challenge and encourage debate on current events, trends, and suitable to the environment problems and issues. Assign responsibilities to all students and balance the differences in levels and learning abilities. Start your lessons with icebreakers, introduce fun games, and use role plays. Bring your smile and a positive attitude to the class and use big variety of resources – off-line and on-line. “Your physical classroom should be welcoming: use posters, models, student projects and seasonal themes to decorate your classroom, and create a warm, stimulating environment” (teach.com, 2019). Learn to listen actively so to attend and adapt to the needs and expectations of your class. Know, respect and explain The teacher should be well informed, up to date and knowledgeable of their subject. Come prepared to class, be aware of the cultural and knowledge level differences in your classroom, plan accordingly and be prepared for flexibility – not everything goes as planned. Explain very clearly the goals of your lessons and any given task, give clear instructions on assignments and expected results. Students would want to perform well and the teacher should provide all the means for it. Accept and respect the various levels of knowledge and motivation; do not push the less active students – they might simply need more time. Take advantage and appreciate different learning styles and adjust your lessons and planned activities accordingly. Be prepared to be surprised and to know the answers to all questions – the teacher is still a human. Feedback, relevance and satisfaction: Learning should be rewarding and the results should bring satisfaction. Irrespective if it is the feeling for success or appraisal for achieving something specific. The teacher should make sure that the students find their newly acquired skills and knowledge as relevant and useful. The students should be presented with opportunities to apply their abilities and test them in real life – take them to see a movie and have them discuss their views after the screening; assign group projects for interviews on various topics and have them present their findings; have them investigate and research on real life stories and write about it. Give them tasks where they can see the results of their efforts. Set realistic expectations, make reasonable demands and provide regular feedback. Do not focus on correcting mistakes immediately - create an environment where people can express opinions freely without fear of being criticized or laughed at. Encouragement and small rewards may give students a sense of fulfilment and inspire them to work towards achieving their goals. Student achievement and satisfaction is directly related to motivation. Any teacher willing to be successful would have strategies for examination and improvement of the forces that motivate their students. It is the “key to persistence and to learning that lasts. The challenge is to help each person clarify his or her important purposes and then to find, or create, the combination of educational experiences that lead to those desired outcomes” (Chickering and Kuh, 2005, p. 1).